Subject: Graphics Cards | April 21, 2017 - 02:12 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, graphics drivers
During the lull in game releases, AMD has released a new graphics driver with official, WHQL-certified support for Windows 10 Creators Update. As we’ve discussed in the past, I tend to err on the side of, “If you do a decent job at internal QA and the user can choose to skip a version or three, then rapid release is probably better than sitting around for a Microsoft certificate”. I mean, why not push out fixes as they are available if there’s no obvious downsides?
Every so often, a WHQL version needs to be certified, though, if only to be accepted into Windows Update. Note that I don’t actually know whether this specific driver will be pushed by Microsoft after an update to the Creators Update – it’s just an example of a situation where WHQL matters.
That aside, the release notes for Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.3 do not state any specific fixes or changes. The main reason for this driver is to support the Creators Update for Windows 10, as well as add support for the new Radeon RX 570 and Radeon RX 580 graphics cards.
Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2017 - 08:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: video, amd, Joe Macri, ryzen
TechARP just posted a video of AMD's Joe Macri discussing the new Ryzen processors from AMD. It is not quite 20 minutes long which gives you a chance to quickly hear from AMD about what they feel the new architecture means for the company, as well as the impact it will have on gamers and enthusiasts. He does mention the HSA Foundation and how AMD is working towards a basic change in how PCs utilize resources. They also embedded a link to a video featuring AMD's Radeon Product Marketing Manager, Adam Kozak, on the new 500 series if you have time.
"AMD Corporate Vice President, Product Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Fellow, Joe Macri, flew in to brief us on the disruptive nature of the new AMD Ryzen processors. Join us for his full tech briefing!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- There's a patch to reinstate Windows 7 & 8.1 on Kaby Lake CPUs @ The Inquirer
- Guess who's back at Microsoft? Excel, Word creator Charles Simonyi @ The Register
- Intel to unveil Basin Falls, launch Coffee Lake ahead of schedule @ DigiTimes
- ThunderX3 TGC20 Series Gaming Chair Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Processors | April 19, 2017 - 08:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: skylake-x, ryzen, kaby lake x, Intel, Core, coffee lake, amd
According to DigiTimes, Intel is expecting to release several new processors earlier than they had originally planned. That said, there are two issues with this report. The first point, which should be expected, is that it compares internal dates that were never meant to be public. It is not like Intel has changed their advertised roadmap.
The second problem is that it’s somewhat contradicted by Intel’s earlier, public statements.
Their rumor claims that Intel will push up the launch of Basin Falls, which is Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X, and X299, by about two months (around June). It also claims that Coffee Lake, which was originally scheduled for January 2018, will be released in August 2017. Both of these moves are being attributed to AMD’s new products.
The potential, somewhat, sort-of contradiction comes from a tweet that Intel made back in February. In it, they said that the 8th generation of Core processors are expected for 2H’17. This time frame doesn’t include January, although it only barely includes August, too. If Intel was always planning on launching Coffee Lake for the “back to school” season, then at least that half of DigiTimes’ story would be completely incorrect. On the other hand, if Intel’s tweet was talking about a sampling / paper launch in December, with volume shipment soon to follow, then DigiTimes would be fairly accurate.
We don’t know unless someone at Intel confirms either-or.
As for Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X, it would be interesting to see them launch at Computex / E3. Previous rumors (also from DigiTimes) that place it in the Gamescom, which is a huge gaming conference in Cologne. Interestingly, this rumor claims that only the four-, six-, eight-, and ten-core models will arrive at the time, with a twelve-core model waiting until the whole line was supposed to launch.
This omission makes me wonder if, in fact, Intel are rushing the launch, but they realize that they cannot get enough good chips to fill out the top-end SKU. In that case, it would make sense to push the smaller and partially-disabled chips out the door, while banking the big chips that can run all twelve cores at a reasonable voltage for some clock rate.
If so, that would, in fact, speak volumes about AMD’s roadmap (and Intel’s opinion of it).
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 18, 2017 - 04:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: RX 580, radeon, Polaris, amd, powercolor, red devil
Ryan covered the improvements over the previous Polaris based cards the RX 580 offers, a higher Rated Clock and standardizing memory frequency of all RX 580 models to 8GHz. That lead to the expected increase in performance compared the the RX 480, in a marketplace somewhat different than what the first Polaris chips arrived in. Consumers now know what NVIDIA's current generation cards provide in performance and prices have settled as much as can be expected in the volatile GPU market. Those using cards several generations old may be more receptive to an upgrade than they were with the previous generation, especially as the next large launches are some time off; we shall see if this is true in the coming months.
One particular reason to consider upgrading is VR support, something [H]ard|OCP covers in their review. The improved speeds do not provide miracles in their VR Leaderboard however they do show improvements in some games such as Serious Sam, with reprojection rates dropping markedly.
"AMD is launching the AMD Radeon RX 500 series today, and we lead with a custom retail Radeon RX 580 GPU based video card from PowerColor. We’ll take the Red Devil RX 580 Golden Sample video card through the paces and see how it compares to the competition at the same price point."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 570 @ The Tech Report
- ASUS Radeon RX 580 STRIX @ Guru of 3D
- apphire Radeon RX 570 Pulse 4 GB @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580 8GB Review @ Neoseeker
- PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 580 8GB @ eTeknix
- ASUS RX 570 STRIX Gaming OC 4GB @ Kitguru
- Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ Limited Edition 8GB @ Kitguru
- PowerColor Radeon Red Devil RX 580 8GB Golden Sample Review @ OCC
- Unigine Superposition Is A Beautiful Way To Stress Your GPU In 2017, 17-Way Graphics Card Comparison @ Phoronix
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC2 Gaming iCX Review @ Bjorn3d
- Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Gaming 11 GB @ techPowerUp
What is old is new again
Trust me on this one – AMD is aware that launching the RX 500-series of graphics cards, including the RX 580 we are reviewing today, is an uphill battle. Besides battling the sounds on the hills that whisper “reeebbrraannndd” AMD needs to work with its own board partners to offer up total solutions that compete well with NVIDIA’s stronghold on the majority of the market. Just putting out the Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 cards with same coolers and specs as the RX 400-series would be a recipe for ridicule. AMD is aware and is being surprisingly proactive in its story telling the consumer and the media.
- If you already own a Radeon RX 400-series card, the RX 500-series is not expected to be an upgrade path for you.
- The Radeon RX 500-series is NOT based on Vega. Polaris here everyone.
- Target users are those with Radeon R9 380 class cards and older – Polaris is still meant as an upgrade for that very large user base.
The story that is being told is compelling; more than you might expect. With more than 500 million gamers using graphics cards two years or older, based on Steam survey data, there is a HUGE audience that would benefit from an RX 580 graphics card upgrade. Older cards may lack support for FreeSync, HDR, higher refresh rate HDMI output and hardware encode/decode support for 4K resolution content. And while the GeForce GTX 1060 family would also meet that criteria, AMD wants to make the case that the Radeon family is the way to go.
The Radeon RX 500-series is based on the same Polaris architecture as the RX 400-series, though AMD would tell us that the technology has been refined since initial launch. More time with the 14nm FinFET process technology has given the fab facility, and AMD, some opportunities to refine. This gives the new GPUs the ability to scale to higher clocks than they could before (though not without the cost of additional power draw). AMD has tweaked multi-monitor efficiency modes, allowing idle power consumption to drop a handful of watts thanks to a tweaked pixel clock.
Maybe the most substantial change with this RX 580 release is the unleashing of any kind of power consumption constraints for the board partners. The Radeon RX 480 launch was marred with issues surrounding the amount of power AMD claimed the boards would use compared to how much they DID use. This time around, all RX 580 graphics cards will ship with AT LEAST an 8-pin power connector, opening overclocked models to use as much as 225 watts. Some cards will have an 8+6-pin configuration to go even higher. Considering the RX 480 launched with a supposed 150 watt TDP (that it never lived up to), that’s quite an increase.
AMD is hoping to convince gamers that Radeon Chill is a good solution to help some specific instances of excessive power draw. Recent drivers have added support for games like League of Legends and DOTA 2, adding to The Witcher 3, Dues Ex: Mankind Divided and more. I will freely admit that while the technology behind Chill sounds impressive, I don’t have the experience with it yet to claim or counterclaim its supposed advantages…without sacrificing user experience.
Subject: Processors | April 11, 2017 - 02:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: z270, ryzen 5, ryzen, amd, 1600X, 1400
As you have already read through Ryan's review of the Ryzen 1600X and 1500X running on MSI's B350 Tomahawk you know about how the chips measure up to Intel's offerings at the same price point. Life being what it is, there is always a trade between testing everything and publishing results in a timely manner so it is possible that we missed your favourite game, benchmark or test setting which is why roundups such as this exist. For instance over at [H]ard|OCP the tests were performed on an MSI Krait Z270 Gaming motherboard and they also had a chance to review the $169 Ryzen 5 1400.
Drop by to take a look and don't forget there are a whole lot more just below.
"AMD has been on a tear with its new Ryzen 7 CPUs over the past few weeks and now it is time for the Ryzen 5 processor family performance to be explored. We are giving away the AMD Reviewer's Kit with a 1600X and 1500X, instead we bought 1600 and 1400 processors to review here today. All data is retail CPUs, and all overclocked to 4GHz."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X CPUs reviewed, part one @ The Tech Report
- AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X Performance Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD R5 1600X 6-Core and R5 1500X 4-Core @ Modders-Inc
- AMD Ryzen 5 1600X @ Kitguru
- AMD Ryzen 5 1500X @ Kitguru
- AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X CPU Review @ Neoseeker
- AMD Ryzen 5 1600X 3.6 GHz @ techPowerUp
- AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 3.5 GHz @ techPowerUp
- AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X Processor Review @ OCC
The real battle begins
When AMD launched the Ryzen 7 processors last month to a substantial amount of fanfare and pent up excitement, we already knew that the Ryzen 5 launch would be following close behind. While the Ryzen 7 lineup was meant to compete with the Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake and Broadwell-E products, with varying levels of success, the Ryzen 5 parts are priced to go head to head with Intel's Core i5 product line.
AMD already told us the details of the new product line including clock speeds, core counts and pricing, so there is little more to talk about other than the performance and capabilities we found from our testing of the new Ryzen 5 parts. Starting with the Ryzen 5 1600X, with 6 cores, 12 threads and a $249 price point, and going down to the Ryzen 5 1400 with 4 cores, 8 threads and a $169 price point, this is easily AMD's most aggressive move to date. The Ryzen 7 1800X at $499 was meant to choke off purchases of Intel's $1000+ parts; Ryzen 5 is attempting to offer significant value and advantage for users on a budget.
Today we have the Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X in our hands. The 1600X is a 6C/12T processor that will have a 50% core count advantage over the Core i5-7600K it is priced against but a 3x advantage in thread count because of Intel's disabling of HyperThreading on Core i5 desktop processors. The Ryzen 5 1500X has the same number of cores as the Core i5-7500 it will be pitted against, but 2x the thread count.
How does this fare for AMD? Will budget consumers finally find a solution from the company that has no caveats?
Subject: Processors | April 10, 2017 - 05:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, ryzen 5, ryzen 5 1600, ryzen 5 1400
Perhaps it is best not to ask how this came about, but you can order the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1400 from eBay. The seller has an impressive reputation and as Kyle over at [H]ard|OCP has already ordered and received some, this should be a fairly safe opportunity to take advantage of. The full review has not yet been published but that did not stop them from putting together a quick overclocking video. If you have 20 minutes to spare and an interest in AMD's new processors you should take a look.
"Much to our surprise, AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs started showing up online for sale last week in North America, so we did what any PC hardware review site would do. We went out and bought four of those and started working on seeing just how much overclocking headroom each of these new CPUs have."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- The AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Processor First Look @ TechARP
- The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X CPU First Look @ TechARP
- AMD RYZEN 7 Trifecta @ Bjorn3d
- Core i7-7700K @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: Processors | April 6, 2017 - 06:03 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ryzen, Power Plan, Power Management, Balanced, amd
AMD Releases Ryzen Balanced Power Plan - Test Results Inside
AMD has published Community Update #3 to their blog. This update details a new Power Plan that should yield improved gaming performance for those who were previously using the Windows default Balanced Power Profile. There has been lots of speculation on reasons for performance differences when gaming in various power modes and even on different Operating Systems. With this new Ryzen Balanced profile also came some info that should help us clear up some of the other misconceptions out there.
After we determined that the Windows 10 Scheduler was not at fault for the Ryzen performance issues we were seeing in some applications, we received some testing feedback from those who had noted performance differences between Windows 7 and Windows 10. While many believed that to be confirmation of scheduler differences between both Operating Systems, the actual cause was down to how Windows 7 and Windows 10 park their cores, as demonstrated by the points AMD sent us earlier today:
- Windows 7 only parks SMT cores, keeping all physical cores awake.
- Windows 10 keeps the first core awake (logical core 0 + 1 on a HT system) and parks the remainder when possible.
- Windows 10 disables core parking by default on Intel CPUs (Speed Shift support).
Since Windows power management (not the scheduler) is not yet Ryzen aware, its default settings result in overly aggressive core parking when driving a Ryzen CPU. Until a lower level change can take place, AMD has released a custom Ryzen Balanced Power Plan that tweaks some of the P-state transition values and a few other settings to help realize the performance gains previously seen by folks shifting to the High Performance mode while keeping idle power consumption much closer to that of the Balanced plan. Here are AMD’s claimed performance gains (vs. Balanced) with their new Ryzen Balanced Power Plan:
AMD provided claimed gains for Ryzen Balanced profile vs. default Windows Balanced profile.
Realize these gains are all going to be nearly identical to any prior comparison showing Balanced vs. High Performance profile deltas, but this profile retains most of the idle power savings accomplished by the Balanced plan. We’ve been doing some testing with the tool and can partially confirm the above results, while adding in some more of our own that were not included in AMD’s data:
The blue highlighted bars denote the overlapping titles tested. A few other titles we tested showed lesser (or no) gains, but that’s not necessarily the fault of this new profile as those same titles saw similar results with a switch to High Performance mode when tested previously.
I did a bit of digging into exactly which power profile parameters are being tweaked and how. Laymen poking around in Windows Power Management will only find this single difference:
However, deconstructing the actual profile data reveals more changes that do not appear in the Windows GUI. Here are the low-level changes we discovered, including the ‘Minimum processor state’ previously noted above:
Note: Units differ varying by parameter in this chart - compare within each set of 3 bars.
As you can see, changes were made to help minimize the parking of Ryzen cores, and to also speed up their waking when required. It may not be a perfect solution as it is another step that the user must perform to get good ‘out of the box’ Ryzen performance, but it does help alleviate the dilemma of running your desktop machine at full tilt 24/7 or having to switch power modes on either end of your gaming sessions. This is a solid stop-gap until native Ryzen support makes its way into Windows, so all of you Ryzen users out there, run over to the AMD Blog and grab/install the Ryzen Balanced Power Plan!
Subject: Editorial | April 6, 2017 - 12:57 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: Z270E, windows 10, relive, podcast, pascal, NVIDA, Mad Catz, Imagination Technologies, ddr5, asus, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #444 - 04/6/17
Join us for an ASUS Z270 Motherboard, NVIDIA Quadro, AMD ReLive, DDR5 and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
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- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, Ken Addison